Our Oncology section includes resources that will help you understand oncology and the important and vital role your oncologist will play in your care, treatment, and fight. Remember: oncology is a piece of your overall care, a section of the wheel equal in weight to all other sections.
Part of our frustration with the medical world was lack of a real overview of the role an oncologist plays that helps the patient / family understand oncology's strengths but also its weaknesses. For example, when a patient might have to look elsewhere for further information. Our Mom received treatments from two of the leading cancer institutions in the country and we still found shortcomings - it is reality and a byproduct of the medical system we have today.
We attempt to help address the issue with our own overview. Feedback encouraged.
What is an oncologist and the different types?
Don't worry, it's not a silly question. When it comes to cancer, there are no dumb questions.
I found myself asking, "wait how many different types of oncologists are there and what the heck do they do?"
It's important to first know what an oncologist is as well as the different types. Depending on your cancer type and stage, you may be dealing with a few different types of oncologists. For a quick overview, here's a short WebMD article.
While doctors / oncologists play a vital role in your care and treatment, it is important to remember that they may have many patients. They are being pulled in many different directions. You are fighting for their attention & focus.
No one will advocate for your well being as well as you can for yourself or your loved one. This is important but it requires doing a bit of homework, understanding challenging information and asking the right questions. It can be difficult but is of the upmost importance.
Cancer.net has a good quick overview on this subject. We encourage you to read asap and we will have more in a blog post soon.
It is very important to get organized prior to your first visit with an oncologist. At some cancer medical centers / hospitals you may be meeting with additional departments - nutrition, integrative medicine, social workers. It's a lot of information. Plenty of handouts, pieces of paper, and information. But being prepared can help you take control of your care.
The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) has put together a quick worksheet that helps you think about questions you may want to ask, hopes, and fears for your diagnosis and treatment.
This worksheet can be helpful for patients as well as caregivers (family members). We at CQ recommend filling it out, discussing as a family / group prior to your first appointment and bringing it with you.
Access, save, and connect with all resources listed on our site (and more) by creating your CQ Dashboard personal account. Your personal Dashboard account allows you to create notes, save links, access the latest research, and connect with others who have similar experience.
* Disclaimer: We are in no way affiliated with the organizations, companies, and authors whose products we promote on our site. It is our job to remain neutral and objective, only recommending resources that have been vetted and selected by our community, experts, and/or through first-hand experiences.